Lunar Park Slope

Dear Lauren:

I am 26 years old. I have a good job at a talent agency, a boyfriend of three years, a rent controlled apartment in Silver Lake, supportive friends and family, and an active social life and yet I wake up every day feeling like something is missing. I feel guilty and somewhat narcissistic about being unhappy. Normally a very happy person, I’ve been feeling restless and moody all of a sudden. I know I should feel lucky for all the things I have, but yet my psychiatrist seems to think that I think I don’t deserve to be happy. I fear that I suffer from Grass Is Always Greener Syndrome. I’m afraid that I’ll never be happy and that scares the hell out of me? Can you please help?

Sad in Silver Lake

Dear Sad:

First of all, I’d like to say that I’m flattered that you came to me after your psychiatrist didn’t do the trick. Who’s to say that a 24 year-old college drop out with less credentials than a hotline psychic can’t help?

Secondly, I think you read my mind today. Have you ever stopped and thought maybe your life isn’t as perfect as it seems? Do you actually like working at a talent agency? It’s often easy in this town to get swept up into the notion that you’re nothing unless you work someplace glamorous. Does your job actually bring you fulfillment? What about your boyfriend? Are you happy with your boyfriend? Does he treat you well or are you settling? Do you like living in Los Angeles? While we’re at it, do you even like your friends? These are all serious questions you should ask yourself. More often than enough, us twenty-somethings adhere to a lifestyle we think we should have and never really stop to ask if it’s what we want. Just because your life may seem perfect on the surface, doesn’t mean it’s perfect for you.
Just today I was telling my friend….Oh, I smell cookies! No, Laurel, focus. You have to have this column finished for tomorrow’s run.

I can’t stand it anymore. I push my chair away from my computer and pop my head over the cubicle wall.

“Who’s got cookies!?”

I hear Amy’s feet shuffle up behind me. She smacks me on the back of the head.

“Ssh. Shut up! These are Rob’s surprise party cookies! Don’t you remember?”

I didn’t remember. I vaguely recall giving Amy ten dollars last week but I obviously didn’t question why. When my bank account is fat and happy, I will pass out money without question. I trust that my friends only ask for reasonable hand outs and I’m happy to share the very little wealth when I can. If I’m in the red, then I become a raging cheapskate and try to persuade everyone around me to donate to my cause. I’m not always good at it though. I should take a fundamentals course from my boyfriend. He always manages to leave his wallet at home. I’m still not sure if he’s lying or if he actually doesn’t know where his wallet is most of the time. Last week I found his wallet in the fridge. I left it there to see how long it would take him to realize this. For all I know it’s still there, turning blue-green with everything else. The last time I saw cash in that wallet was when he took me out on my first date and he paid for his half of the meal. I miss those days. Going dutch seems so generous now.

I on the other hand never leave my wallet at home and have difficulty lying. Say I’m at dinner with a friend and the check arrives, I will stall as long as I can to see if my friend reaches for the bill. When a half an hour or more goes by and they still haven’t reached for it, I feel guilty and end up offering to pay for the whole thing. I wonder if my friends know this and they are playing me the entire time I think I’m playing them.

Today I have $12 in my checking account that will need to hold me over for the next week. A flush of panic surges through my body. Maybe I can recoup my ten dollars.

“Is that what I gave you ten dollars for the other day!?” I shout at Amy.


“How expensive are those cookies? Ten dollars times ten people…$100 cookies! What the hell?”

“They’re supposed to be amazing. They’re from that bakery in East Village.”

“Oh! So one of us had to waste time and money just to get over on the east side to pick up friggin’ cookies?!”

“No, they were delivered.”

“Oh! That makes sense.” I start to climb up onto my chair. “Have you not been reading the news about our country’s current financial state? Have you not seen how much gas costs nowadays? Aren’t we supposed to be a progressive paper? Don’t we encourage kids to sell their cars for bicycles, boycott corporate America, and minimize our indulgent ways? This behavior is against everything we represent! I want my ten dollars back!” I put my hand out towards her her.

“You’re broke aren’t you?”

I gradually sit down.


I retract my hand.

“You better give me my ten dollars in cookies, assface.”

Our intern, John, comes running past.

“Quick! Rob is parking. Everyone hide!!!”

To be continued….
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  • Reply That Gal Kiki January 19, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Did'ja ever get those cookies or your ten buck back????

  • Reply Holly January 19, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Thank goodness Tiff's Treats is cheaper than that. 😀


  • Reply Willy January 19, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    awesome, can't wait for more…

  • Reply Juliette January 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Too funny! I love comedic stories like this. Great transition!


  • Reply Hannah Miet January 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    This was fucking fantastic (and oh-so-relateable). Can't wait for part 2…

  • Reply Christopher January 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    mmm cookies

  • Reply IT January 19, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    I wanna see how the advice to Sad in Silver Lake is closed out.
    I got me some Oreos.

  • Reply Rebecca January 19, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I, too, want to see how your advice to Sad in Silver Lake turns out… I'm having the same crisis up in Sherman Oaks…

    It must be one of those weeks where no one has any money… I only have $12 in my bank account too… stupid bank.

  • Reply Langley January 19, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    "You better give me my ten dollars in cookies, assface."

    Love it.

    I find that living off no money what so ever quiet fun sometimes. Others it is kind of a drag.

    Now, it's quite fun 🙂

  • Reply Nathanael Rey January 20, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Hahaha. I love this.

    Also, I like that in your column you actually pointed out those questions. Whenever I reflect I always delve deep dark and complicated. When some of the most profound questions are actually the simplest.

    you TOTALLY just opened up a whole new dimension to my self reflection process, lol.

  • Reply Colleen January 20, 2010 at 2:37 am

    Loved the structure of this post. So creative and entertaining.

    Surprise, Rob!

  • Reply Freelance Pallbearer January 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    In between figuring out what kind of life you want to live and how exactly your going to make that happen it's always nice to have a cookie, even if the person giving it to you is a assface.

  • Reply joel January 20, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    "raging cheapskate"

    that's pure gold.

  • Reply WILDasaMINK January 26, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Done reading Pt. 1 (I know, several days after the post, but hey…I came back to read it as I commented I would when i skimmed thru Pt. 3). Tomorrow I will read Pt. 2, then I will reread Pt. 3 and it shall all make sense.
    I love your posts!!!!! Plain and simple-that's all I have to save, love em!

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